What Not to do in your Research Paper: Basic, but Important Guidelines

Sometimes it is easier to know what we should not do in a paper, as opposed to what we should do in a paper. Research papers often follow this concept. If you have a list to check when you are finished researching and writing, you can avoid these essay pitfalls.

Things to Avoid in Your Research Paper

No first or second person-this paper must be written in third person. It is what is considered as a formal and academic paper. So, this rule is a must. Do not use the words you and I in the document.

No contractions-you must spell out all words. The piece should not have contractions. So, write out the words such as should not, instead of using the word shouldn’t.

No abbreviations-you should not have abbreviations in the piece either. Spell out all words in the composition. You may know what an abbreviation is, but if it specific to a field and not everyone knows it, this could be confusing for the reader. Additionally, the idea behind the spelling out of all words is that you are taking the time to spell out the words because the forum calls for it.

No slang– you must be formal as you write. The paper is for your teacher, peers, and academics. You have to consider your audience, and note that the piece you are writing is fulfilling an obligation for school. You must not use slang in your research paper.

No grammar errors-some people have trouble writing, as not everyone was born a writer. However, you cannot turn in a paper that is riddled with grammar errors. You can seek help if you struggle with editing. You can ask a peer to help you, hire a professional for aid, or go to see your teacher for assistance with editing. When you proof and then edit, make sure to not make any new errors.

No spelling errors-just as you can’t have grammar errors, you also cannot have spelling errors. I have read papers that were excellent in content, but received a lower grade because of all the spelling errors. Spelling does matter in your piece.

Margins and spacing mistakes-you also can’t have strange margins or spacing in the piece. Keep your margins at one inch and double space your lines in the paper. Always do this unless the teacher tells you something different.